I will never forget when I tore my rotator cuff in my right shoulder. I had represented scores of people who had this injury, but never truly understood it until then. It happened while playing goalie for an adult soccer team. Like many of the injured workers I’ve helped over the years, I didn’t realize at first that I had done anything. It wasn’t until my adrenaline had warn off and I showered at home that I discovered that I had trouble putting my arm above my head.
Soon after I was at a doctor’s office and holding my right arm with my left hand which I later learned is a tell tale sign of a rotator cuff tear (or as my young son kept saying, rotator cup tear which is what I thought it was called before I became a lawyer). I had a cortisone injection that briefly relieved the pain followed by some physical therapy. The choice then became have surgery and not use the arm for six months (even though surgery takes only 45 minutes) or give up soccer and do strengthening exercises.
I chose no surgery and truly my arm feels great. If I had a heavy duty job surgery would have had to happen. This whole experience has definitely helped me help my clients with all sorts of injuries. So let’s talk about what we see when it comes to hurting your rotator cuff at work in Illinois.
Weak shoulder, issues raising your arm, pain and clicking or popping in your shoulder, unable to lift things like you used to do… these are all symptoms that you may have a torn rotator cuff. This is a very common injury in the workplace. The injury usually worsens over time if it’s not treated well and can come from both single incidents like lifting a heavy object or catching yourself when falling or from the daily wear and tear of your job duties.
If you are having symptoms of a torn rotator cuff, you should go to the doctor immediately, preferably an orthopedic one. You should also let your doctor know up front how your shoulder was injured. If you suspect it’s from doing your job over a period of time, make sure the doctor has a detailed description of what you do at work. In most cases this shoulder injury can be diagnosed in the exam room and then is confirmed via a MRI.
Following confirmation of the injury, it’s typical to start with physical therapy and pain medication and go from there. If it doesn’t resolve itself or the pain keeps coming back, it’s likely that surgery will be recommended.
This is the type of injury that occurs in almost every industry although we see it most with carpenters and other laborers as well as professional athletes. But it also happens to office workers or others who slip and then put their arm out to catch themselves.
We understand rotator cuff tears and can help you if you were hurt at work. If you have questions or want to talk to a lawyer for free, call us any time at (312) 346-5578 or fill out our contact form and we’ll call you. We help everywhere in Illinois and while we can’t promise a result, we do promise to answer your questions and fight for you if we are hired.